A Cobb County grand jury indicted former DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker today on charges that she lied to state investigators looking into her handling of the 2013 sentencing of DeKalb’s one-time school Superintendent Crawford Lewis.
According to the indictment read in open court, Becker is facing four counts of making a false statement to a government official, in this case members of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, two counts of false writings and one count of misdemeanor obstruction.
The indictment says Becker lied when asked why she did not grant bond for Lewis when she sentenced him to 12 months in jail rather than the 12 months probation that was part of a plea deal with prosecutors. The case against Becker was presented by a northeast Georgia prosecutor appointed when the Cobb County district attorney recused his office.
According to a transcript of an interview conducted in a Marietta law office last September, Becker repeatedly said Lewis did not ask for bond until she had left town for a planned trip in December 2013 to attend the Army-Navy football game.
But an exchange of emails between Becker and others the day after Lewis was sentenced show that bond was discussed. Becker wrote back that the issue of releasing Lewis on his own recognizance required a hearing and she could not hold one until the next week, eight days after Lewis was taken to jail.
Faced with racketeering charges and other felonies that could bring up to 65 years in prison, Lewis pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of an investigation into DeKalb school construction.
The lawyers on both sides met with Becker to outline the deal before he entered his plea in court just days before he was to go on trial along with former DeKalb schools Chief Operating Officer Pat Reid and and her ex-husband architect Tony Pope.
Reid and Pope were convicted, but Becker found that Lewis had not been truthful in his testimony.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.